High-tech companies accounted for the most leasing of any other industry in 2015, according to a recent report from CBRE Research.
Last year, high-tech companies accounted for 16.5 percent of the total square footage leased in metro Denver. Across the state, high-tech encompasses 15.5 million square feet.
"There is migration from submarket to submarket -- for example, downtown Denver is more tech-focused today than ever -- and between property types, with traditional office space still dominating but tech firms now occupying everything from co-working space to industrial/flex buildings," says Katie Murtaugh, research analyst and CBRE Denver. "The industry's evolution has led to unique submarket trends in terms of the type and maturity of high-tech companies that locate in specific areas and the format of the space they lease."
Of Colorado's 15.5 million square feet occupied by the high-tech industry, defined in the report as high-tech services and manufacturing, hardware companies were the largest occupiers of real estate at 6.5 million square feet. The next highest user is software publishing at 4.4 million square feet, followed by business services at 2.4 million square feet.
Subsector diversification varies by submarket. In downtown Denver, software business services and cloud make up a combined 70 percent of the high-tech footprint. Hardware, Colorado's largest overall subsector, has a significant presence in the northwest and Boulder submarkets at 7.7 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively but it's Fort Collins and Colorado Springs that see the lion's share at 88.6 percent and 76.8 percent, respectively.
"The diversification of Colorado's high-tech sector comes as a surprise to many people, Murtaugh says. "Subsectors like social media and e-commerce frequently receive a lot of fanfare, but it's our state's hardware, software publishing and business services tech companies that have the largest footprint. Overall, a diversified tech sector is a healthy sector and the best-positioned to weather any one subsector's storm."
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